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Eck and Winterrowd, who also authored A Year at North Hill: Four Seasons in a Vermont Garden, go into luxurious detail on the tiniest aspects of horticultural and barnyard life. These two are passionate and effective teachers--so much so that, by page 43, the reader fully understands their characterization of pumpkin vines as "as wayward as vegetable guineas," a reference to the hen with a mind of its own. We--even those of us who've never sprouted a seed or hoed a row--get it. But some of the most rewarding passages in Living Seasonally are those that ruminate on the inevitable blending of the spiritual with the prosaic, as in this reflection on Vermont pumpkin pie, made with maple syrup from their own trees:
We begin our syruping when the buds of the maples are tight-furled, hardly more than sharp, dull-green points along the bare stems.... By the time the pumpkins have been selected and sown, the leaves of the maples will have hardened into the thick shade of summer.... When the maple leaves have turned transparent again, all into orange and tawny yellow, the pumpkins must be gathered to cure in the warmth of the house. As they lie in heaps and piles, their colors reflect the autumn garden, and are a fit emblem of the season. An emblem, too, is the pie they make, where beginning and end and all the processes in between are caught up in a perfect round.This book will captivate both the avid gardener-cook with its recipes and techniques for planting and seed selection, and the citydweller searching for the answer to why it's impossible to find tomatoes that taste like tomatoes in January. --Stefanie Durbin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.